Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > .22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion > Is it a Marlin 81 or 881

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Old 12-12-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default Is it a Marlin 81 or 881

I have a JC Higgins Model 229 (103.229) purchased in 1959. In trying to locate parts, some people say it's a Marlin 81. The Marlin 81 schematics show a magazine feed and mine in a slot tube feed. I show the original parts diagrams in a thread under Firearms Talk & Support entiled Marline Model 81 or 881. Can anyone help with model it is?
Bob

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Old 12-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #2
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According to this Cross Reference chart your gun is a SEARS gun. This is based on the (103.229) model#. That model# does indeed cross ref with the Marlin 81. I wonder if your gun was re barreled or cobbled together with parts from an assortment of Marlin guns from both Sears and JC Higgins? Just a thought.

EDUB

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Old 12-13-2011, 12:08 AM   #3
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First, JC Higgins WAS the Sears store brand. Later, it was Ted Williams.

Second, the Marlin 81 was a tube fed, not a box mag fed. Have two of them sitting in the safe.

Numrich (gunpartscorp.com) has an error on the schematic pages. What they are showing as an 81 is a Model 80.

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Old 12-13-2011, 05:05 AM   #4
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There ya go!

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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With a little more research, the schematics of a Marlin 781 match almost exactly. It was an original gun my dad bought me for Xmas in 1959. I did find the parts at numrich and ordered. Hope to have back at the range soon.
Bob

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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The differences between an 81, 781, 881, 981, & XT22 are minimal, but the actions are not interchangable...
And, the 80/81 series 780, and Model 25 (1984-88) all use the same stock, which isn't interchangable with the others.
Also, they use a slightly curved mag.

All the stocks are interchangable between the 25n/880/980/XT22, but the 981 & XT22 require more room in the trigger area due to the size
of the trigger groups...so if you use an older walnut stock, it would have to be chiseled out for a 981/XT22 trigger group.
Also, they use the same mag as the 795.

Same for the .22-WMR 25M/MN/MG/MB-series/925M/982VS/XT22M's...finally they are all mated under the XT22 designation instead of 25-series and 82-series

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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My biggest problem now is ordering the cartridge carrier base screw from numrich. I ordered part no. 403640A which is listed for the Marlin 781 and 881 but the screw is to small in dia. The original screw is 9/64" dia. So I went back and ordered screws 403640B and C for the Marlin 81 and the Sears model 103. Hopefully one of these will be the right size. Just one piece from putting it back together.
Bob

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Old 12-22-2011, 08:17 AM   #8
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Good info, let us know if the 81-screw & 103 screw are the same and if they fit

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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I finally got the right screw from Numrich, put it all back together and it works like new. Here's what I learned. The barrel is maked J.C.Higgins Sears Model 103.229. I order part #403640A Cartridge Carrier Base Screw (Marlin 781, 881) and it was to small. I order parts #403640B NI (Marlin 81,81C,81DL) and #403640C NI (Sears 103.133, etc.) and both screws fit. The last part for the Sears 103 rifles didn't list my 103.229. Where all this got screwed up is Numrich's schematic for a Sears 103.229 and the Marlin 81 shows a magazine feed and mine is a slide tube feed. The Marlin 781 and the 881 schematic show a slide tube feed like mine but the part #403640A screw is to small. It may have to do with the "NI" behind the number. Not sure what NI means. If anyone is interested. If anyone wants to see one, I have the original schematic and phamplet that came with the Sears Model 229.
Bob

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:54 PM   #10
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The Sears Model 229 phamplet and schematic is shown in the thread under General Rifle Discussion - Marlin 81 or 881 on page 5.

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